I have no idea whether George Santayana was a good philosopher, but he certainly was right when he wrote, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
Consider the fools in the U.S. Senate. They just voted to expand Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac subsidies, apparently thinking that re-inflating the housing bubble would be a good idea when every sensible person thinks we should abolish these government-created entities.
Here are some blurbs from the Business Week story.
The U.S. Senate adopted a measure that would raise the maximum size of a home loan backed by mortgage companies Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration to $729,750. Senator Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, offered the increase as an amendment to a spending bill today. The measure was approved less than a month after the limit on so-called conforming loans was automatically reduced to $625,500. …The Senate adopted the amendment 60-31. The amendment required 60 votes for approval and was offered during the chamber’s consideration of a package of spending measures. If the Senate passes the underlying bill, the House would then have to vote for it to become law. …The limits, which vary by locale, apply to loans backed by the FHA and government-controlled mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which together buy or guarantee about 90 percent of all residential home loans.
For what it’s worth, every Democrat voted for the measure, as well as these Republicans.
Blunt – Missouri
Brown – Massachusetts
Chambliss – Georgia
Graham – South Carolina
Heller – Nevada
Isakson – Georgia
Murkowski – Alaska
Snowe – Maine